One would expect that a team with the second worst record in baseball would naturally be in sell mode. After all, it is difficult, if not entirely impossible, to dig out of that type of hole. Yet, the Miami Marlins insisted that they would not be selling off their players, especially given their spending spree over the past offseason. Now, it seems they are willing to admit what we all knew, and are finally ready to trade off several of their players.
With the Kansas City Royals in need of a starting pitcher, the Marlins would seem to be the perfect trade partner for a second half rental. In fact, the Marlins have reportedly placed two starting pitchers on the trade block in Mat Latos and Dan Haren. While neither pitcher is a true ace, like the Royals are considered to need atop their rotation, either could be a solid piece to help the rotation.
At first glance, Latos would not seem like an upgrade. Over the course of the season, he has posted a mediocre 4.90 ERA and a 1.314 WHiP, numbers that would not be much different than Jeremy Guthrie’s if his implosion against the Yankees on Memorial Day was removed from his stat line. However, since coming back from the disabled list, Latos has posted a 3.31 ERA and a 0.949 WHiP, with opponents hitting at a .192/.248/.350 rate against him. That would certainly be the upgrade the Royals need in the rotation.
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Haren, meanwhile, could be the sort of veteran starter that would help both Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy. Both of the Kansas City Royals young starters played better with James Shields atop the rotation, and while Haren is not perceived to be a staff ace, he has performed quite well this season. Overall, Haren has a 3.34 ERA and a 1.057 WHiP, numbers that would certainly approach that ace level. However, Haren has been considered quite lucky this season, as his numbers have been bolstered by a mere .256 batting average on balls in play. Unsurprisingly, Haren’s FIP is almost a full run higher at 4.14.
With both pitchers set to be free agents after this season, it may not take much to acquire either arm. Instead of getting into what will likely be a spirited bidding war over the likes of Johnny Cueto or Cole Hamels, the Royals may be able to get the type of pitcher that fits their team at a reasonable cost, upgrading the current roster for a run through October without mortgaging the future.
The Miami Marlins vestiges of a fire sale have begun, and both Mat Latos and Dan Haren are on the block. With the Kansas City Royals looking for starting pitching, either player could be a solid option.